Written by Beth Nielsen Chapman, Robin Lerner, and Annie Roboff
#1 (3 weeks)
May 16 – May 30, 1998
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
May 15, 1998
Faith Hill returns with the most deliriously catchy crossover hit of the decade.
The Road to No. 1
After going to No. 1 with the title track from It Matters to Me, that set produced three additional top ten hit singles: “Someone Else’s Dream,” “You Can’t Lose Me,” and “I Can’t Do That Anymore.” It is still her only album to date to produce five top ten country singles. However, her sales potency continued to escalate with her next two albums, starting with 1998’s Faith, which put her on the pop music radar for the first time with its lead single, “This Kiss.”
Yes, it was overplayed to death.
Yes, it committed the cardinal sin of being remixed for pop radio.
Yes, it dominated the awards circuit for so long that its victory at the 1999 CMA Awards for Song of the Year felt anachronistic.
But the reasons for all of the above come down to one thing: “This Kiss” is a deliriously catchy record, delivered with euphoria by a singer that radiated joy with every note she sang.
It’s also wickedly smart, using “centrifugal motion” in its chorus, which was the most surprising term to surface in a No. 1 country single since Mary Chapin Carpenter dropped “benign” in the chorus of “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” four years earlier.
Even today, in spite of its overfamiliarity, it’s still a burst of sunshine that you’re going to sing along with in your head, with or without your consent.
She’ll have even bigger crossover hits down the road, but good as some of them are, they pale in comparison to this delicious slice of hook-laden pop-country.
(And let’s take a moment to put some respect on Robin Lerner’s name: she co-wrote “Out of My Bones” and “This Kiss,” two back-to-back No. 1 hits that couldn’t have been more different stylistically, but were fresh and rejuvenating sounds for established artists.)
The Road From No. 1
After “It’s Your Love” and “This Kiss,” Faith Hill had two more consecutive No. 1 hits. We’ll cover both of them in 1998.
“This Kiss” gets an A.
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